About Betty’s Books
All are Welcome to Celebrate, Learn, & Share
In recent years, a wider variety of readers has become interested in comics, graphic novels, and manga. There has been an explosive growth in sales, more critical recognition including major awards, and more mainstream awareness of this type of literature. Thanks to all of that, there are also graphic books available in every genre, across a vast array of topics, and featuring a wonderfully diverse cast of characters. However, for many people visiting a specialty store as a new reader, or even as an experienced one, can feel unwelcoming.
Our mission at Betty’s Books is to provide a fun, welcoming space to learn about and enjoy graphic books. We love this genre, and it shows in our work every day! Through exceptional customer service, high-quality events, and a robust selection of titles and fun sidelines, we want to be known as THE PLACE in the St. Louis area for graphic books, related events, and gifts. Whether you visit us in-store or online, we strive to apply our mission of inclusivity and family-friendliness to all elements of our business.
We personally select books and other merchandise that a variety of readers will enjoy and find worthwhile. Each day, we learn more about what our community is interested in and adjust our selection accordingly, ensuring you will find a fresh, new read at every visit.
Meet the Staff
What Does it Mean? Comic vs. Graphic Novel vs. Manga
Comics are a sequence of images conveying information or a story. Most people tend to think of comic strips or famous super hero comics such as Superman or Batman, but comics are a format and can be any genre from nonfiction to romance to science fiction. Comics are often serialized, meaning that each comic tells the piece of a larger story arc. Serialized comics are published as comic strips (like in a newspaper or online) or in single issues (sometimes called “floppies”). Single issues are then often collected and published as a trade paperback (a “trade” or a TPB), which is bound like a traditional book. A typical trade collects about four single issues.
Graphic novels are comics in a book format. They tend to be stand alone volumes, rather than serialized like comics. There is some debate about what the definition of graphic novel is, and if the term graphic novels should even be used, or if it is just a snooty term for comics. For now though, many readers who have never read comics may find graphic novels as their point of entry into the world of graphic books since they feel more familiar and book-like. Well-known graphic novels include Maus by Art Spiegelman, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.
Manga are Japanese comics and graphic novels. Like them, manga encompasses a wide range of genres and topics, including titles perfect for kids, teens, and adults. Although manga is similar to American comics in that it combines pictures with text, reading it can take some practice as it is designed to be read right-to-left instead of left-to-right like English language publications. While you may not realize it, you may already be familiar with a couple manga series; popular manga like Dragon Ball-Z and Sailor Moon have been transformed into anime television shows, becoming quite popular in the 1990s.